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Meet Emilia Cruz in Ventura County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emilia Cruz.

Emilia, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
So according to my Mami I began to draw on my fingers before I could even walk or talk. I don’t remember a day in my life where I haven’t been drawing or creating something. I grew up being shy around most people and I have always been more introverted, therefor expressing myself with words has been an extremely difficult task since day one! Instead I chose to create my own world on paper and got lost in it. Making art has always been an act of self-care, with it I have learned to heal and grow. I enjoy sharing my own stories and experiences through my work. I still feel like that little girl who gets lost in a different dimension while painting.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Oh definitely not! I am an anxious mess most of the time. I especially went through a rough time after I graduated high school. For a few years I had lost sense of who I was and I was on the verge of just giving up on this whole life thing. I don’t mean to get that deep but I just need to be honest. Most artists live day to day with a plate full of self-doubt and fear. Nonetheless, this is the only path I see myself on and creating art has always made me happy. Giving up now is no longer an option, no matter how scared I get. I do however acknowledge the fact that I am privileged to have supportive parents and a little hermanita (sister) who believe in what I do even when the road gets bumpy. That alone gives me enough motivation to keep at it everyday.

Emilia Cruz – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I consider myself an illustrator but I primarily focus on painting. I am in love with figure painting and portraiture. My main goal is to give representation to people of color, specifically woman of color. I also try to remain transparent and vulnerable through my work. By doing so I’ve been fortunate enough to have people reach out to me to share their own personal struggles and experiences. I am forever grateful that my artwork has connected me to so many lovely beings.

At the moment I have been dipping my feet into the gallery world but I also try to attend local vending events to sell reproductions of my work. Anything such as prints, zines, bookmarks, stickers, and pins. I don’t like to think that I am that much different from any other artist out there. We are all on the same boat trying to make it to our dream destination. Some have better intentions than others of course. I am just doing my best to keep true to myself and produce work that I am proud of.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Crap this a hard question, I have a few. There have been a couple of people who I have witnessed tear up because of how they were able to connect with my paintings and that caused me to hold on to my chest because I swear my heart was about to fall out. I never thought my work would be able to do that. There was also this one time when I was displaying work at La Terraza Cafe and this really sweet little girl came up to me to tell me that she really admired my work. She then showed me her own drawings and they were so lovely! I hope wherever she is now that she continued to create.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Viva La Muxer (the photo with the bright pink background)

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